"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

New York

Gates: US endgame now close in Iraq

From Alsumaria.

While security forces are pursuing their fight against terrorism and outlaws, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates considered that the “endgame” is now close in Iraq stressing that withdrawal of US Forces will be carried out along a slow process. Yet, he warned of the costly consequences of an early pullout.

Gates made the comments in a speech delivered to US special operations forces at their headquarters in Tampa, Florida, recalling the past failures when security was handed over to Iraqi forces before they were ready based on overly optimistic predictions that didn’t necessarily conform to reality.

“We must be realistic about the challenges still facing Iraq: al Qaeda remains a lethal force always looking to metastasize and regenerate; armed militias still undermine the rule of law; and the government, while making great strides, still has a lot to learn about how to deliver basic services and security to its people,” he said.

The strategic goal in Iraq is a unified democratic federal Iraq that can govern itself, defend itself, and sustain itself, and is an ally in the War on Terror.

In order to be a unified democratic federal Iraq, it first and foremost must be secure. Security can be provided by US forces, but it is better provided by Iraqi forces. Iraqi forces have now proved they can enter and secure the three largest population centers in Iraq - Basra, Sadr City, and Mosul. In short, it can defend itself.

In order to be a unified democratic federal Iraq, it must provide basic services to its population. This capacity has been built up in Iraq since day one and is currently being built up to a greater extent in Iraq now that the security situation is improving. Security improvements will lead to providing essential services in a democracy. If it doesn't, leaders will not win re-election.

As military capacity and governance increases, Iraq will be able to sustain itself in due course. This is why we must be cautious of a rapid withdraw of US forces. The surge made great strides in Iraq, not only militarily, but also politically, economically, and informationally. A gradual withdraw will ensure these strides are not reverse, but in fact continue forward.

Iraq is proving it is an ally in the war on terror as it is the central front in the war on terror. Our two biggest enemies, Al Qaeda and Iran are being defeated and/or contained in the region. The democratically elected government in Iraq does not want to be controlled by Iran nor does it want to be subjected to the violence that Al Qaeda offers.

The National Command Authorities strategic objectives are close to being fully realized in Iraq. Once these strategic objectives cannot be compromised can we begin to withdraw forces from the region. Timetables have never worked in war or nation building. Benchmarks have been set and are being met, but Iraqis will meet them on their own timeline. Our operational mission as a military is to continue to push them towards accomplishment and assist with security so they can continue to pursue these benchmarks. Tactically, this comes down to defeating Al Qaeda and other militants in the region and assisting the government with providing essential services.

It has taken awhile in Iraq for all parties to come online to pursue the same strategic, operational, and tactical objective, but pursuing they are all doing now. With enemy's of these objectives in full retreat we will see rapid expansion and resolution of our, now combined, objectives.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home